A fall is the most common reason why people over 65 in Redbridge go to A&E
Trips and falls account for a large number of injuries in the home. Anyone can have a fall, but older people are more vulnerable than others.
- Keep active to make your muscles stronger and to improve your balance. You don't have to go to the gym, simple tasks like gardening, regular house work and walking can boost energy levels and improve coordination and balance.
- Avoid dehydration which can cause dizziness and confusion. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Keep your home clutter free by removing anything that may cause you to fall such as pet bowls, small furniture, electrical or phone cables. Ensure any rugs, mats and loose carpets are secured with double sided tape.
- Wear flat, well-fitting shoes. Poorly fitting or worn shoes can lead to accidents.
- Have regular eye tests and make sure you clean spectacles.
- Don’t rush when getting up. If you feel dizzy when you first sit up from bed, wait a couple of minutes before standing up.
- Make sure everyday objects are within easy reach. Before getting into bed make sure you have everything you need such as a clock, water or a table lamp and similarly, in the living area, keep items such as the remote control and telephone near you.
- Put a non-slip rubber mat in the bathroom to provide extra grip and support.
- Clean up any spills straight away and avoid wet floors. Don’t say you will do it later as it may be too late.
- Fit handrails and grab bars if you need help getting around your home, for example, when going up and down the stairs.
- Improve lighting by using high wattage bulbs, especially on stairs.
What to do if you have a fall
- Don’t panic. You will be a little shocked but try to stay calm
- Call for help
- Don’t try to get up if you think you are hurt
- If you are not hurt, don’t rush to get up too quickly
- Keep warm with anything available
- Try to keep moving as much as you are able to
- Always call your GP after the fall
Worried about falling?
If you are worried about getting help after falling, you may want to consider getting a community alarm. The alarm can be worn as a pendant and when you press the button it will alert staff at a response centre who can help you.
Visit lifeline and telecare page or contact the Redbridge Lifeline Team on 020 8708 5897
Age UK Redbridge Integrated Falls Service can advise on falls prevention. They have a 'Top tips for preventing slips and trips' booklet, which you can download on their website. If you have had a fall or are concerned about falling, complete an assessment form to get advice. Joining one of their exercise classes too can help strengthen your bones.
If you want to discuss any concerns you can contact Tina Sinclair, Falls Prevention Co-ordinator, on 020 8220 6000.
NHS Choices has useful information on preventing falls.